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Darwin fossil specimens Hunterian Museum

Darwin fossil specimens Hunterian Museum

C008/8172

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5581 x 3131 pixels

47.2 x 26.4 cm ⏐ 18.6 x 10.4 in (300dpi)

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Credit

PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Illustrated London News 4th October 1845. Engraving of the Hunterian Museum with 'Darwin-like' figure central. Darwin discovered many striking extinct giant mammals while travelling overland in South America during the Voyage of the Beagle. They were sent back during his journey and looked after by his old tutor Henslow. On his return they were given to the Royal College of Surgeons' Hunterian Museum (the British Museum had a bad reputation at that time). They were identified and named by Richard Owen ( then a friend of Darwin but later a bitter enemy). On left is a Mylodon (giant ground sloth) and right the carapace of a Glyptodont (armadillo relative). Many of the fossils Darwin found were related to the animals still living there. Darwin wondered if they were ancestors, and in later years would cite these fossils (and the Galapagos Islands) as "the origin of all my views".

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